Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Neighborhood “Cleanup”

Every summer Salt Lake City runs the Neighborhood Cleanup program. It’s called the Neighborhood Cleanup but it should really be called “The 3 Weeks of the Year That You Are Allowed To Throw All Your Crap On The Side of the Road and No One Can Tell You to Clean It Up.” I HATE the Neighborhood Cleanup.

As pickup truck owners, Joe and I make fairly regular trips to the city dump in order to dispose of anything too large or heavy to put in our regular garbage can. I recognize that it might be hard for some people to do that and so I understand why the city has the Neighborhood Cleanup. The idea is that people can dispose of large items easily and for free. What I do not understand is why people think that means that they can throw their regular trash out in front of their house and ignore it. Residents are allowed to start putting their piles of crap (which is the nicest word I can use on this G-Rated blog) out in front of their house up to 10 days prior to their designated pick up date and then the City usually doesn’t get it pick up until several days after that date, so for 2 – 3 weeks every summer it looks like I’m living in the streets of some 3rd world country without organized trash disposal. I HATE the Neighborhood Cleanup!

There are rules about the cleanup. The postcard sent by the city says things like:

  • Do not block traffic, fire hydrants or sidewalks
  • Keep piles away from light poles, mailboxes, trees, or other fixed objects
  • Pile Size may be one dump truck load of material (apx. 20 ft. long x 5 ft. wide x 5 ft. high)
  • Separate green waste from your other cleanup pile
  • Tires or Household Hazardous Waste such as paints, oil, flourescent lights, batteries, electronic waste, etc. will NOT be removed.

If people would follow these guidelines then I would probably just dislike the Cleanup. As it is, people show a blatant disregard for all regulations (another thing I HATE).

Instead, this is what really happens:


Like how they have separated the “Electronic Waste” from the green waste?


I’m pretty sure some of that would fit in the garbage can.


This is ok, but I don’t want to know how that happened to the couch.


These people wanted a pile just because everyone else had one.


I don’t even know what to say about this one…where did they have all that stuff?


No parking…unless you are a mattress, an upside-down couch or an empty fridge-pack of lemonade.


This is nice green waste, but I’m pretty sure it’s pushing the 1 dump truck load rule.


In case you want to eat breakfast and open your mail out front. Oh, and then just leave your trash on the couch.


Unidentified furniture items…another television…more trash on the ground…see a pattern?


And all I can say about this one is…wow. Just wow.

I did see a few nice neat piles like this one:


And I like how the throw pillows are arranged here in case you want to have a seat:


But for the most part, the piles just make me sick.

I realize that by driving around my neighborhood with my camera and then posting these pictures I’m taking the chance that one of my neighbors might see their own pile here and get offended…if that’s you I’m sorry. I don’t mean to offend anyone, and I really have no problem with people putting out some old carpet or large furniture. Oh, and if you are offended, DON’T THROW YOUR TRASH IN THE STREET!!!!! Thanks!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Produce Problem Solved!

I don’t like fruit.  It’s mostly a texture thing.  I can tolerate a very crisp apple, but the thought of biting into a peach or a banana makes me gag just a little.  I make myself eat from sometimes anyway – because it’s good for me.  I’m pretty good with vegetables though.  Especially if they’re covered with butter or cheese sauce. ☺

Despite the fact that I’m not big on fruit, my family really likes it – which I’m glad for.  Maybe my kids stand a chance.  Lately I’ve been really disappointed in the produce available at my local supermarket.  They don’t have very many options and what they do have is just old and sad looking.  Luckily Jen, a friend of mine, told me about Bountiful Baskets.  BB is a volunteer Co-Op which specializes in fresh fruit and vegetables.  For $16.50 (including the $1.50) you get a huge basket of produce each week.

How it works: You order online on Monday/Tuesday (depending on your location) and select your pick-up location.  Then on Saturday morning you show up with your basket or box and take home your fruits and veggies!  I’ve been so happy with the quality and while a few of the things we’ve received might not be what I would have picked out on my own (white asparagus anyone?) I kind of like that it pushes me out of my comfort zone and makes me learn to cook and eat new things.

I should note that for $16.50 you get a TON of produce.  They say that on average you receive $50 worth of food.  It’s more than my family of four can eat in a week so I’ve been coordinating with my Sister-in-law, Jo-Elle, and splitting it.  It’s nice that way because I only have to get up early to pick up the food every other week.  Bountiful Baskets is available in Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Texas, Arizona, Nevada & Washington so check it out at  Their website is a little confusing so if you have questions let me know!


This is the produce I got this week – remember this is HALF of what came in the basket (Except that there was just 1 pineapple which Jo-Elle was nice enough to give me).  There are bananas back there behind the grapes and that is a mango in front of the squash.  The stalks in the middle are white asparagus.  Any fun ideas about what to do with that?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

My New Favorite Mash Up

When I was in junior high one of my favorite movies was the Disney musical Newsies.  My friends and I all thought Aaron Lohr was “super cute” and I’ll admit that when I see Christian Bale I think first of him singing “Santa Fe” and secondly of him clad in black armor with bat wings.

I recently saw this Newsies/Lady Ga Ga mash up posted over at Rage Against the Minivan and I just couldn’t resist posting it.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!